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Thumbs up: To the participants and organizers of the Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival, held last weekend in downtown York City.

If you didn't go, you missed a huge variety of artwork from more than 100 artists.

There were landscapes and photographs and multimedia art, of course, but there were also artists who work with wood, pottery, ceramics and even attic finds that became lamps.

There were booths offering handmade shoes, textile arts and tapestry weavings for sale. There was a space where a woman gave dramatic poetry readings, and the chairs at her stand were full through the day.

More: York City welcomes back Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival

Kids could ride stationary bicycles to make spin art, and they could try out historical instruments at the York County History Center space in the yard of the Golden Plough.

Speaking of the history center, men and women in costume gave their days to lead tours through the Golden Plough, give demonstrations of colonial pastimes and give people a chance to ring the bell at the Colonial Court House.

Plus there were juried exhibits, contests for students, and musicians performing up and down the rail trail throughout the festival.

The event is organized every year by the York City special events team, led by Mary Yeaple. Thanks for your work!

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Self-proclaimed witch doctor Christopher Strange presents at York Fringe performance of "Abraxas" at the Parliament Arts Organization. York Dispatch

Thumbs up: To the volunteers, performers and venues that made the first York Fringe Festival possible.

Fringe festivals have their roots in Edinburgh, Scotland, where in 1947, performers who weren't invited to the official Edinburgh International Festival performed anyway on the "Festival Fringe." 

Today, fringe festivals are held around the world to celebrate the acts that won't get into the large venues, the ones that are quirky or small or short.

The York Fringe Festival brought a wide mix of performances to York, from an Ibsen tragedy performed in a speakeasy to singing acrobats to a staged reading of online comments on the #iloveyorkcity hashtag.

Pulling together all of the acts and venues for the first time took many hours and was an all-volunteer effort. Let's hope next year will bring even more acts to the fringe.

Thumbs down: To the weather this summer, which has caused mold to be found in a couple of local schools as the school year begins.

Eastern York School District delayed the start of classes by five days as it dealt with mold in its middle school. The school will be closed until further notice, and its students have begun the year at two of the elementary schools and the high school.

York Suburban School District took a different tack when mold was discovered in 10 classrooms in the high school. The district sent in cleaners and dehumidifiers, and the spaces were ready when students began classes last week.

The growth of mold in the buildings was blamed on the heavy rains and high humidity the area has been subjected to all summer. 

Thumbs up: To the communities and organizations that partnered with schools to welcome students back to class.

For instance, the York City School District joined with York City and the York YMCA for the United Back to School Resource Fair on Friday, Aug. 17, at Penn Park. The event featured free food, a book bag giveaway and activities.

The York Academy Regional Charter School held its annual back-to-school 5K on Aug. 18. Hosted by the school's parent-teacher organization, the event funds activities and classroom supplies throughout the year.

Businesses and churches also pitched in, including the West York Church of the Brethren, in Jackson Township, which gave away free bags of school supplies to anyone in need.

Boost Mobile York in York City sponsored free back-to-school haircuts for anyone with a school or college ID, and the first 20 in the chairs also received a school supplies kit.

York City also sponsored free haircuts at 14 locations across the city.

Kudos to all who helped ring in the new school year.

 

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